WEARE — Teachers in the Weare and John Stark school districts will get a little more money in their paychecks after voters approved new contracts in a special election on Tuesday.
Voters approved the Weare School District contract by a vote of 517 to 329. The contract includes $170,011 in the first year of the two-year agreement, which will increase the tax rate in Weare by 21 cents, or $52.50 on a $250,000 home, according to Business Administrator Kathleen Sargent. In the second year, the contract will cost an additional $139,073.
Voters in both Weare and Henniker approved the John Stark School District’s contract by a total combined vote of 653 to 483. In Weare the vote was 492 to 354, and in Henniker, 161 to 129.
The John Stark School District contract will cost taxpayers in Weare and Henniker $90,502.44 in the first year, and an additional $79,972 in the second year.
In the first year, the increase will raise the tax rate by 8 cents in Weare, or $20 on a $250,000 house. In Henniker the increase will equal 7 cents, or $17.50 on a $250,000 house.
Both contracts provide raises for teachers, some of whom haven’t seen a pay increase in three years.
“They deserve it,” said Jess Potter, principal at Center Woods Elementary School. “They’ve deserved this for the last three years and though it’s only a small raise, at least it’s something.”
Voters rejected both contracts at the school district meeting in March; but approved a special election to reconsider the contracts. The Weare contract that was presented was reduced by $8,000, eliminating some professional development funds. The John Stark contract went before the voters unchanged from what they saw in March.
“I’m so thrilled for our teachers,” said Superintendent Lorraine Tacconi-Moore.
The superintendent said she was so sure voters would support the teachers that she bet a friend an ice cream cone on each contract. She’s looking forward to indulging in a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of peppermint stick to celebrate.
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Nancy Bean Foster may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.